US Finds More Allies In Boycott On China
The Chinese government expressed outrage after the US vowed to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing by refusing to send diplomats to the communist nation. The angry country fired back basically saying that they didn't invite US diplomates anyway. Now that other countries have joined the boycott, the Chinese government has gone silent.
China is facing intense criticism for its human rights record. Several countries, including the United States, have accused China of committing genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, allegations that China denies. Rights groups have also called attention to Beijing’s repression in Tibet and its crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong. The disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai from public view in November added to concerns.
“It has already been decided no Australian-based officials or politicians will attend the Beijing Olympics in February next year, and Canberra has refused to sign the Olympic Truce to also send a message to Beijing,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported. “But the government is still considering whether Australia’s ambassador to China, Graham Fletcher, and other embassy staff will attend events and whether to publicly call it a diplomatic boycott.”
Shortly after this report was published, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that Australia would join the U.S. in imposing a diplomatic boycott on the games.
“[We are] very happy to talk to the Chinese government about these issues and there’s been no obstacle to that occurring on our side, but the Chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about these issues,” Morrison said. “So it is not surprising, therefore, that Australian government officials would not be going to China for those games. Australian athletes will, though. Australia’s a great sporting nation and I very much separate the issues of sport and these other political issues. They’re issues between two governments.”
In a full boycott, a government refuses to send athletes, officials, and spectators to the host nation. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is instead imposing a diplomatic boycott: Citing the Chinese government’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang” and other abuses, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said athletes are still allowed to compete, but Biden and other government officials will not attend.